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Alex Oana, Slate Audio

Q: What is your new position, and what does it entail?

Q: What is your new position, and what does it entail?

A: I’m the vice president of creative operations for Slate Pro Audio and Slate Digital. I direct product development, sales and marketing. Steven Slate and I have a blast every day designing great sounding, innovative gear and creating new ways to spread the word about it. We’ve both been making records for a long time in studios from high-end to personal, and we talk with all kinds of producers who do the same. A treasure trove of ideas come from this experience, and it compels us to make tools people need to sound better, be more sophisticated and have more fun.

Q: How has your background prepared you for your new role?

A: My obsession with audio started as a little kid. I’ve been producing and engineering records full time for over 20 years. Through my writing for several trade publications, I’ve learned to tell the story of equipment in the context of how we use it in a compelling and engaging way—invaluable marketing experience! From 2010-12, Mike and Andrew Nehra, Jeff Ehrenberg and my colleagues at Vintage King Audio refined my skills in customer service and opened my eyes to the flow of gear from manufacturer to customer. This all adds up to a lot of friends in our small and passionate industry.

Q: What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?

A: I feel fortunate to learn from Steven’s marketing savvy, his successes and ongoing intuition. We really connect with our customers through our You- Tube videos, be they educational or self-deprecating spoofs, and Steven’s funny Facebook and Twitter posts. We talk with our customers in real time on many audio forums. Customer feedback is a true gift—an opportunity to improve our products and service and gain customers for life. For instance, we gathered the collective intelligence of the audio community in person at NAMM and virtually online to transform the prototype of our Raven X1 production console into a truly innovative solution that will work for just about every kind of modern audio producer. We involve the customer, they improve what we do and everyone benefits.

Q: What are your short- and long-term goals?

A: My goal is to use our expertise with hardware and software to not just stay relevant, but also lead the industry in innovation.

Q: What is the greatest challenge that you face?

A: Steven and I have generated such a flood of ideas for really cool hardware and plug-ins, I just hope we can get them all out there quickly so that our customers can start enjoying them.